Public sector campaigns are some of the most successful types of marketing campaign using bought-in lists.
By email marketing to public decision makers regularly, companies often win urgent, specialist and ad-hoc orders (sub-£100,000) with little or no competition.
Here, there is not required the level of scrutiny or involvement of higher-value deals put out to tender.
In addition, sending a series of emails to public sector buyers gives them the chance to get to know your company better.
This can help to carry their interest in your products and services through complex tender-led procedures involving multiple decision-makers and influencers.
With most public sector email lists, you can target by:
- type of organisation,
- area of government,
- geographical area,
- job function of a decision maker, and
- seniority of a decision maker.
Click here for our guide to marketing to the public sector.
Generic emails versus personalised emails – which is better?
When we are collecting email addresses, one of the questions we ask is which is the email address a company would prefer to be contacted at.
There is a general divide between companies with 49 or less staff and companies with more than 50 staff.
Email marketing to companies with 49 or less staff
Most companies registered with our email marketing service that have 49 staff or less will be run by their original owners who will have built up the business over a number of years.
When the founders are still involved in running a small business, they will have given some power to others but not that much.
Around one in three companies of this size provide generic emails as their primary point of contact.
This is because, at this company size, the owners/founders will still want to see what staff are getting through on email – many owners find it hard to delegate.
For 26-49 staff, that process of transfer will be at a more developed stage.
For most small business founders, the early years of opening and running a business involve them taking on virtually every part of running that company themselves.
As time goes on and trust in the core abilities of staff members grows, the job of running the business is gradually spreading from just the founders to the founders & their developing management team.
So, why do many of these companies give generic emails when they could give the Managing/Finance/Sales Director’s email address instead?
Because responsibility is beginning to be shared across a number of people – but some decisions might require an input from a few people.
In those cases, owners decide it’s best that everyone on the decision making “panel” has the same information.
Email marketing to personalised B2B emails
Personalised emails, particularly with smaller companies, will generally always get to the person you are specifically targeting.
If the original recipient does not have direct responsibility, they will always almost have sway over the decision-making process.
Email marketing to school email addresses
Because of the low cost, emails are now the preferred way for companies to break into the education sector.
There are two types of school emails, generic and specific.
Generic emails (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc) are used far more than personalised emails.
In many schools, the use of specific email addresses (i.e. named addresses) is not permitted.
With our UK schools database, a customer can reach over 30,000 schools by generic email.
Some email addresses deliver to more than one school – for example, a multi-academy trust or a nursery and a primary school which share the same name and address.
Generic emails are normally received by the school secretary.
We advise customers using generic email addresses to put in the subject line, for example, “For the attention of the Head of Music” so they have as little work to do as possible.
Do personalised school emails work better? Yes.
However, the premium you pay for them often depletes the additional revenue you generate from these campaigns.
Which company should you buy your email list from?
Now you’ve spoken with some email marketers, and you’ve explained which companies and organisations you wish to target, what should you look for on their quote?
Being presented with your quote
Normally you’ll get your quote from each supplier within 24 hours.
Email marketing brokers normally charge for email data per 1,000 records.
Check the quote to see exactly what they’re proposing to supply you with, and to discover what rate you’re paying.
Very few email marketing companies “sell” you the data outright. They normally licence it to you for a period of time and/or a number of campaigns.
One-off email marketing rarely works.
You need to plan a series of email marketing broadcasts to the prospects on your bought-in list, in order to generate the maximum possible return on your investment.
You should always ask a licence period of at least 12 months or 12 campaigns.
If you’re buying an email marketing database with a number of managed broadcasts, check to see that the price of the design, copywriting, transmission, and reporting is included with the campaign.
6 considerations when selecting an email list provider
When looking for a quality email list , you should consider the following six factors before making your choice:
1. How much additional data is included on each email record
Earlier in this article, we listed some of the fields you could expect on high-quality B2B, school, charity, and public sector databases. What fields are included on your database?
2. Email copywriting and design samples
If you are intending to purchase managed email marketing broadcasts, ask to see samples of work a potential supplier has done for previous clients to check for its quality.
3. Update cycles and accuracy guarantees
Some suppliers claim that their database “decays” to a rate of around 5% a month while others claim 70.3% per annum . In our experience, it’s closer to 30% a year. Ask how often your potential email marketing supplier updates their lists – 3-6 months is industry standard.
4. Does the email marketing data comply with GDPR and PECR?
We cover this in more detail further in this article but this is of particular importance so please always ask this question.
5. For the price they intend to charge you, does the maths seem right?
Could they afford to compile data to the quality they’re claiming charging these prices? If not, please walk away as it’s not worth the risk – the likelihood is that your email marketing list will be at least 50% inaccurate and likely belong to a list owner. List owners regularly sue companies who use their email marketing list even if they got it from a third party source.
6. Does the email marketing representative sound like they know what they’re talking about?
If you purchase a bad email marketing list and the company managing your email broadcasts has little or no design and copywriting experience, it will reflect badly on your brand.
Please click on the link for an article written by our team on how to avoid buying bad email data .
Which laws govern sending emails to bought-in lists?
The laws governing email marketing in the UK (and by default what can appear on any email list you purchase) are the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).
Don’t buy email marketing lists containing sole traders or partnerships
Until May 2018, it was legal to collect and sell email marketing databases containing sole traders and partnerships.
This is no longer the case, so please always get assurances from any potential email service provider that their database doesn’t contain them.
Email best practices – sell to the company and not to the recipient
You should only promote products and services which benefit your recipient.
For example, if you sell insurance, promoting key person insurance or public liability insurance will conform to best email practices.
However, promoting personal insurance would not conform to email best practices guidelines, as you’re trying to sell to the person and not the organisation.
This would likely be in contravention of GDPR and PECR.
Consumer email list – be very careful
GDPR changed the way in which personal information could be collated, stored, and sold.
For email list providers, GDPR made the business of compiling consumer email lists much more expensive and complicated – so much so that many abandoned the market.
Some very reputable email marketing providers do still sell consumer email marketing lists.
However, we would urge you to exercise the maximum amount of due diligence before proceeding with a purchase.
What many email marketing service providers think
It is accurate to say that there are people who do not like email marketing.
In fact, there are so many people who do not appreciate receiving email marketing that laws have been passed against certain types of promotional email campaigns.
But what do email service providers think?
Many email service providers like MailChimp will not send mass emails to bought-in lists.
Many service providers have written blog posts warning about buying in a database containing recipients who have never heard from your company before.
Look at these articles from:
All of them warn readers about the alleged threat of having your website removed, having your email provision removed, and the huge damage it will have to your company’s reputation.
Nevertheless, most email marketing services providers do actually send email campaigns to bought-in lists if you can prove that you’ve purchased it from a reputable supplier.
Most companies offering email marketing services know who the reputable list owners and brokers are.
If you purchase an email marketing database with a million emails on it for £20, they will not send it for you.
However, if you purchase an email marketing database from a reputable supplier like More Than Words, most will.
Strategy 2 – grow your email list and send regular email newsletters
Investing in a bought-in email list is a quick route to finding the organisations with the highest level of interest in your products and services.
It’s an investment thousands of UK businesses make every year.
At the same time however, you should start building your email list.
In this case, an email list consists of decision makers within companies and organisations, whom you’ve already been in direct contact with.
Start with your existing customers
Your first set of subscribers should be your existing customers – they are your company’s “fans”.